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Djokovic Wins First Match Since Knee Surgery

Djokovic Wins First Match Since Knee Surgery

Novak Djokovic expressed his satisfaction with his performance after winning his first match since knee surgery, advancing to the second round at Wimbledon. The 37-year-old Serb, aiming to match Roger Federer’s record of eight men’s singles titles at SW19, defeated Vit Kopriva 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 under the Centre Court roof.

Djokovic underwent surgery on a torn medial meniscus on June 5 after aggravating the injury during the French Open. He will face British wildcard Jacob Fearnley in the next round.

Wearing a knee support, Djokovic showed no signs of discomfort against the 27-year-old Czech qualifier. He converted his sixth break point in a lengthy fourth game and dominated the first set. Early in the second set, Djokovic broke Kopriva’s serve, converting defense into attack in his trademark style. Three more breaks of serve led to a convincing victory, with Djokovic finishing the match with three consecutive aces.

In his on-court interview, Djokovic said, “I tried to really focus on the game and not think about the knee too much. Everything that I could do, I have done over the last three weeks, along with my team, to be able to play here for you today. I think if it was for any other tournament I probably would not have risked it, would not have rushed as much but I just love Wimbledon, love coming back here.”

After his win, Djokovic had a chance to meet seven-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan. The 48-year-old Englishman was a guest in Djokovic’s player box, and Djokovic revealed he was a “fan” who watched O’Sullivan play since childhood.

Djokovic said, “I watch snooker just because of him. Honestly, I watched him play many years ago. My father loved watching snooker, I only watched Ronnie. Whenever he would not play, I would not watch. We just had a meet-up, an interaction for the first time. It was great. He was one of the sport greats I used to watch when I was a kid. It was really nice to have him around. Hopefully, we’re able to play some snooker because I’m really bad at snooker. I’m okay at pool or billiards, but snooker, I tried it twice, and it’s really, really tough. He’s a really, really nice person, nice guy, and very funny.”

In other matches, Russian Andrey Rublev, the sixth seed, was the highest seed to fall in the men’s singles, losing 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) to Argentine Francisco Comesana. American 20th seed Sebastian Korda was also beaten in the first round, losing to French lucky loser Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard. French Open runner-up Alexander Zverev, Polish seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz, and American Ben Shelton all progressed, as did Stefanos Tsitsipas and Holger Rune.

Credit: BBC Sport

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